Tag Archives: opera

ARIA (1987)

It’s no  revelation to say that supporters and patrons of the arts mantle an attitude of progressiveness and promote themselves as such. For the most part, in the contemporary West at least, that’s a fallacy. A spirit of ultra-conservatism has … Continue reading

Posted in Film Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DIRECTOR RETROSPECTIVE: KEN RUSSELL

  Parts I  & 2 of a retrospective covering the theatrical feature films of Ken Russell (1927-2011) originally posted at 366 Weird Movies. Russell also produced an extensive number of documentaries, television films (many of which were composer biographies), and short films, … Continue reading

Posted in Director Retrospective, Film Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

INGMAR BERGMAN’S MAGIC FLUTE (1975)

The conductor Bruno Walter once suggested that “The Magic Flute,” rather than the unfinished “Requiem,” was Mozart’s true valedictory work. While there have been many great recordings of “The Magic Flute,” Wilhelm Furtwangler’s famous performance stands out for its pronounced mysticism, … Continue reading

Posted in Film Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

M22: THE MOZART OPERAS AT SALZBURG (2006): LA FINTA GIARDINIERA

La finta giardiniera (“The Pretend Garden Girl”) is an opera buffa from Mozart’s youth (written in 1777, when Mozart was all of 18, with a libretto by Giuseppe Petrosellini).  The jealous Il Count Belfiore has attacked and stabbed his mistress, La Marchioness Violante … Continue reading

Posted in Opera, opera on dvd/blu-ray, opera review | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Another excellent Wozzeck and the usual, superb Tcherniakov production

It’s a good sign that we now have half a dozen excellent Wozzecks available on DVD. The best is probably the Patrice Chereau/Barenboim production (which was long, inexplicably available only in Europe). However, no single production has the final word … Continue reading

Posted in Film Reviews, Music Reviews, Opera | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Not one for the opera fundamentalists, but a vital Figaro for the 21st century.

If one thinks comic book fans are a tad over-zealous in filmed approaches to their tight-wearing heroes, then a quick glance at reactions from many American opera fans, to contemporary opera, will reveal that those Marvel boys are a subdued … Continue reading

Posted in Film Reviews, Music Reviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Claus Guth, Mozart, Czernowin: Relentless Communication

Mozart’s unfinished Zaide is considered a slightly older, less memorable brother to the composer’s Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail [The Abduction from the Seraglio.]. Zaide is a rescue opera, with a plot based on Voltaire’s “Zaire.” The exiled Christian Gomatz … Continue reading

Posted in Film Reviews, Music Reviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

THE UNCOMPROMISING ALBAN BERG: OLIVIER PY’S LULU (2011)

Alban Berg (1885-1934) may be the most notorious member of the Second Viennese School, even more so than leader Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) and Anton Webern (1883-1945). Berg, the most romantic of the school, was as influenced by Gustav Mahler as … Continue reading

Posted in Film Reviews, Music Reviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

THE UNCOMPROMISING ALBAN BERG: CALIXTO BIEITO’S WOZZECK

Calixto Bieito’s 2006 staging of Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck” has reaped equal parts praise and damnation from critics and audiences. It is a powerfully reprehensible staging of a powerfully reprehensible opera. Wozzeck is a common solider, shaving his Captain. The Captain … Continue reading

Posted in Film Reviews, Music Reviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

HUMANIZING MESSIAH

There are endlessly fascinating artistic directors working in the art of opera. Then, there are great artists. Claus Guth is a great artist. In his 2009 staging of Handel’s “Messiah,” Guth calls to mind the Protestant theologian and martyr Dietrich … Continue reading

Posted in Film Reviews, Music Reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment